A Simple Test of Abortion and Crime
40 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2008
I first replicate Donohue and Levitt's results for violent and property crime arrest rates. I apply their data and specification to an analysis of age-specific homicide rates and murder arrest rates. The coefficients on the abortion rate have the wrong sign for two of the four measures of crime and none is statistically significant at conventional levels. I then use the legalization of abortion in 1973 to exploit two sources of variation: between-state changes in abortion rates pre and post Roe, and cross-cohort differences in exposure to legalized abortion. I find no meaningful association between abortion and age-specific crime rates.
Keywords: abortion, crime
JEL Classification: K4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation